The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended conditional approval for Flinders Mines to expand the scope of its proposed Pilbara iron ore project.
Flinders plans to clear up to an additional 300 hectares of land to develop the ore deposit at the project, as well as accommodate associated waste rock dumps, a tailings storage facility and associated infrastructure.
It also plans to build new roads, an airstrip and an accommodation camp.
The project will also increase the dewatering limit from four gigalitres per annum to six gigalitres per annum.
EPA chairman Paul Vogel said the currently authorised project comprised six deposits and associated infrastructure including roads and groundwater extraction bores.
“The existing Pilbara iron ore project will link with the approved Balla Balla export facilities on the coast, midway between Port Hedland and Karratha, using a rail and conveyer project, which was last month recommended for approval by the EPA,” Dr Vogel said.
Under the conditions of the approval, Flinders will be required to conduct additional flora and vegetation surveys and develop a management plan to avoid and minimise impacts to rare flora, and contribute to a government-established offset fund to counterbalance to residual impact of clearing the additional land.